Having been taken over by the Hong Kong-based Genting group, Lloyd Werft is now heavily focused on newbuilding work, especially in the cruise sector, where it has several orders from operators controlled by its parent. However, it is still very much active in third party repair and conversion work, as a major new contract from DFDS has demonstrated.
The German yard has recently received an order to lengthen the ro-ro ferry PrimulaSeaways in a 31-day docking starting on 1st July this year. Options for two further DFDS ship lengthening projects are also on the table, it is understood.
Cutting and lengthening ships is nothing new for Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven, but the yard’s designers and workers will get their chance to show their capabilities once again this year when the 199.8m long, 32,289gt Primula Seaways arrives in Bremerhaven. The yard’s primary task will be to lengthen the ship by adding a 30m long midship section as well as to repair the damage which the ferry sustained in a collision off the eastern coast of England in December last year.
For Lloyd Werft board member Dirk Petersjohann, the company contract is, he says: “like meeting an old friend”, as he was involved in the construction of the ferry back in 2002 at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft. Along with Stephan Bieber, the project manager for the lengthening work, he has planned the procedure for carrying out this work in the yard’s big floating dock.
Almost 200m of ship hull will need to be separated at a point where the overhanging bridge is located. The hull will first be cut vertically and then horizontally to about 10m below the bridge. By using this method the yard will avoid having to undertake the time-consuming job of cutting ramps at difficult points inside the ship. Once the ship supply and waste disposal pipe connections have been severed and marked, the front section of the Primula Seaways will be drawn out of the dock.
The new midship, which weighs 1,300tonnes, is already being manufactured, complete with fittings, and painted by another Bremerhaven-based company, Rönner Stahlbau. Tugs will nudge the new midship section into place in front of the stern in the Lloyd Werft floating dock in the Kaiserhafen. After the ship’s bow section has also been repositioned in the dock, hydraulic presses will be deployed to connect all parts with millimetre perfect precision.
The yard has 12 days to cut the ship and the remaining 19 days are being set aside for re-joining and repairs. While the lengthening work is going on, tanks on the ship will be adapted to comply with new MARPOL regulations. Furthermore the substantial collision damage also needs to be made good.
After being jumboised, Primula Seaways will be 229.8m long and will have 4,650 lane metres of car and freight capacity, enough for 307 trailers, which is around 25% more than it did before.
The lengthening project is of particular importance for Lloyd Werft, as options have also been secured to lengthen two further ferries for DFDS and because additional conversion projects for European ship owners are at the negotiation stage. Petersjohann suggests this success demonstrates that the company does not purely regard itself as Genting’s own in-house yard, despite the fact it has been contracted to build a number of cruise vessels for the Hong Kong firm. He promises that Lloyd Werft will continue to acquire orders independently on the international market. “We will not withdraw from competition but will, on the contrary, utilise our new possibilities internationally to acquire more work,” he concludes.